“This product contains selenium which is toxic in high doses. A daily dose of 150 micrograms for adults of selenium from dietary supplements should not be exceeded.”

This is a TGA labelling requirement that is not in alignment with the research. Take a look at on their section on selenium where you will see the research on selenium toxicity. It has been shown that 800mcg daily of selenium is safe for pregnant women and therefore the Australian government to be conservative suggest 400mcg as a daily upper limit.

In addition to this, research to update our knowledge on the levels on selenium in Brazil nuts has found that most Brazil hits contain nowhere near the amount of selenium we think they do. In fact most food is much lower in selenium than it was back in the 80s when we did a lot of the nutritional testing. Supplementing with as much as 400mcg is therefore both providing an effective dose and safe for majority of people.

Selenium is required for effective immune system regulation including cancer prevention and autoimmune regulation. Also for detoxification, hair skin and nails and mood regulation/neurotransmitter production.

Tell your patients to ignore the outdated and unhelpful warnings on labels with selenium in them.

Stay tuned for my next rant on vitamin a for pregnancy (sneak preview: no it’s not toxic).

Clare Pyers